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THE SECRET OF NIMH (1982)

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THE SECRET OF NIMH (1982)

Friday, 06 September 2013 00:42

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Written by 

The Buzz:

     As I have mentioned before, there was a lack of well-made animation in the early to late 80’s, as the Disney Empire was crumbling under the iron thumb of Michael Eisner and there were virtually no other Americans in the medium.  That is until two lone animators broke off from Disney and decided to create their own studio, based purely off the success of a made-for-TV animation called Banjo: The Woodpile Cat and a hand animated arcade game known as Dragon’s Lair.  They got their funding and released their first full-length picture based off a little-known children’s book.  The film was not a commercial success, but at least for me it is a cult classic and my favorite film of all time.  I give you The Secret of NIMH.

 

 

The Life of the Party:

      Before I get too deep into the story of the film, let me say that this is the film that made people realize that there was something other than Disney.  This film is as beautiful as any Disney film that I have ever seen and it has a story that involves a lot of heart, soul, danger and death.  The film is as much a labor of love as it is a work of art.  Aurora productions took a chance and gave everything they had to make this picture happen.  When the film went over budget executives and animators alike took shares of profit rather than money and even mortgaged their homes to make this work.

 Rotoscoping, which was pioneered by Ralph Bakshi, was experimented with, though very little made it into the final project.  The big thing this added to animation was that through rotoscoping, Bluth developed processes for lighting cels that still are being used today.  Also, in the scene with the Great Owl, there is a technique, now known as backlighting, where the cel glows a certain color and is done outside of the painting.  Considering that Bluth only had 30 months to complete this, which is half the time Disney got at the time, this is just short of amazing.

      The story is about a field mouse named Mrs. Brisby, who is raising three children on her own after her husband was killed by the farmer’s cat, Dragon.  When she finds out her son is deathly sick and cannot be moved for the impending harvest, she calls on the strange rats that live in the rosebush.  It turns out the rats, as well as her late husband, were both from a lab where they were experimented on, and as a result became intelligent to near-human standards.  The film unfolds from saving the children into a political story about Jenner, who believes the rats are being led incorrectly and his plot to kill their leader, Nicodemus.  The film has some great characters; mainly the meek-but-strong Brisby and the goofy-but-brave Jeremy the Crow.  The voice talents are quite good as well, featuring some Disney regulars as well as John Carradine, Derek Jacobi, and Dom DeLuise.  A neat little factoid: the children are voiced by Wil Wheaton and Shannon Doherty.  It is a great film for all ages and tells a compelling but not complex story that both a child and adult can follow and respect.

 

You Shall Not Pass!

 

Possible Hangovers:

     This isn’t a cutesy Disney flick with a bunch of singing; there is some, but it was written by Paul Williams, who is brilliant.  There is swordplay, near terror as well as death (both by the sword), as well as just plain murder.  There is also a first for animation of the time, a curse word, which is there because it fits the scene and was in the book.   Honestly I don’t see a whole lot of negativity with this film, but I am a bit biased I will admit.

 

Murder?  Who Said That, No Murder Here... 

 

The Vibe: Casual Gathering – Family Night – Solo Experience

     This film can be watched with any crowd all ages can apply.  This is a short viewing all of 85 minutes, so even if you have never seen it just give it a shot and see what Don Bluth and Gary Goldman can do without Disney.

 

This is my favorite saying actually...

 

Plus/Minus:

+ Animation

+ Voice Cast

+ Writing

+ Score

+/- Can Be Seen as a little Dark at times

 

Drinking Games:

~ Drink when the crow has a full set of teeth

~ Drink when Justin hits on Mrs. Brisby

~ Drink when Jenner’s Eyebrows Levitate

~ Extreme: Drink when someone says “rats” or “rat”

Read 898 times Last modified on Friday, 06 September 2013 22:48

About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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